Gateshead Council

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Most recent

Fine warning to drivers who flout bus lane rules

Cameras on bus lanes across Gateshead are now live, the council has warned.

The devices have been installed on the Felling Bypass, Askew Rd and on the A690 between Winlaton Mill and Swalwell Roundabout.

During the transition period, anyone caught flouting the rules would have been given a warning letter.

However, from today they will now be fined.

Gateshead bus lane cameras to go live this week

Three new bus lane enforcement cameras in Gateshead will go live this week.

They're at:

  • Prince Consort Road, at its junction with the A184 Askew Road
  • A694 between Winlaton Mill and Swalwell roundabout
  • A184 Felling bypass at Heworth

In future, anyone caught illegally driving in a bus lane could face a £60 penalty charge notice or prosecution if they don't pay.

Gateshead Council says the decision to invest in cameras came after repeated complaints from the public, bus operators and Northumbria Police about motorists abusing bus lanes to avoid traffic.

Gateshead Council says it consulted a number of local transport organisations including bus operators, taxi and private hire operators before deciding to introduce bus lane cameras and did not receive a response against the proposal.

£60m Quayside skyscraper approved

A £60m skyscraper will be built on the Gateshead Quayside despite concerns from some councillors over its design.

Developers Elliot Group were given the green light by Gateshead Council's planning committee this morning to press ahead with proposals for a 20-storey housing block comprising 317 flats on the corner of Mill Road and Hawks Road.

However, councillors were split on the merits of the project, which some feared could become a "white elephant".

Plans for a 20-storey apartment block in Mill Road, near Gateshead Quayside
KDP Architects Ltd

Councillor Lynne Caffrey said: "I think the design is appalling. If we are a council that is interested in iconic buildings, this is not one of them."

Council officers said the design had been carefully considered and improved by their requests to use more glass on the upper floors of the building, which has 20 floors at its highest point and drops down to 15 and then nine floors.

Construction is expected to start next spring on the building, which is the first major residential scheme to be built on the Gateshead Quayside since the financial crash of 2008.

Elliot Group founder Elliot Lawless said: "We're delighted to make our debut on Tyneside.

"It's a thriving market with a great cultural scene and to be next to both the Baltic and Sage puts us right in the thick of things."

Halloween costume fire risk warning

Parents are being warned about the dangers of shop-bought Halloween costumes.

Gateshead Council has been testing the flammability of children's fancy dress outfits from stores in the area and, although most passed, there were concerns with some items, particularly masks.

Whilst children's nightwear has to meet strict standards of fire resistance, costumes are treated as toys when it comes to fire safety.

The council is advising parents to check the garment labels carefully, supervise their child at all times and keep them away from naked flames.

Halloween mask on fire

Foster parents of disabled child win case against Gateshead Council for free school transport

Local Democracy Reporting Service

Daniel Holland

A couple were left "significantly out of pocket" after a council refused to provide free transport to take their disabled foster child to a special school.

Gateshead Council has now been told to reimburse the foster parents for the cost of driving almost 70 miles a day to take the child to and from school since 2016.

The council argued that its contract with the Foster agency stated that the fee it already paid included the cost of transport to school up to a distance of 15 miles - and that it had wrongly funded the boy's taxi travel to his former school from 2012 to 2016.

The local Government and Social Care Ombudsman told the authority to apologise, pay the couple an additional £750 to compensate for the distress caused and the lengthy complaints process and now take responsibility for arranging the boy's transport or covering additional costs.

The local authority says it will consider the ombudsman's recommendations at a council meeting next month.

While it is unfortunate the family had to pursue their case all the way to us, I'm pleased to provide some resolution for them and see these problems finally put right.

Michael KingLocal Government and Social Care Ombudsman

Blaydon shopping plans set for rejection

Daniel Holland

Local Democracy Reporter

Plans to open a host of new shops and restaurants - including a Starbucks and a TJ Hughes - in Blaydon could be rejected by council bosses this week.

A developer wants to build a major new retail complex, but opponents say it will "irreversibly undermine" the town's existing shopping centre.

The proposals would see Aldi and TJ Hughes, as well as drive-through Starbucks and Burger King branches, open at an industrial estate on Chainbridge Road, while B&M would relocate from its existing town centre site.

Blaydon shopping centre owner Ellandi LLP has objected, saying it was "strongly opposed" to the proposed scheme. Costa Coffee and Home Bargains have also lodged objections.

Developer UK Land Investments Ltd argues the development would create 170 full or part-time jobs once operational and an estimated 95 during construction.

Gateshead Council's planning officers have recommended the scheme is refused as it will "result in the relocation of a major anchor store and would compete on a like-for-like basis with existing operators".

A decision will be made on Wednesday evening.

An artist's impression of how the proposed Blaydon retail park would look
FaulknerBrowns Architects

Gateshead car park remains largely empty

BBC Newcastle

A £700,000 car park in Gateshead has remained largely empty since being built, according to new figures.

Quarryfield Road car park has taken just £4,103 since opening, despite estimates it would generate £290,000 a year.

After building it without proper approval in the summer, Gateshead Council was forced to retrospectively ask themselves for planning permission

Quarryfield Rd Car Park

Lib Dem Councillor Jonathan Wallace says it was a rushed job.

He said: "We have locked up a lot of resources for a number of years and we're going to have to pay for that because we've got interest and so on, on capital borrowing so there are a lot of question marks over this entire project."

The council says parking will be needed in the area in the medium to long term

Council chief gets £11,000 pay rise

Daniel Holland

Local Democracy Reporter

Newcastle City Council's chief executive has received a pay rise of more than £11,000.

Council papers show Pat Ritchie's salary has now risen to £180,285 - almost £30,000 more than she was earning two years ago.

The new salary, which was agreed by an appraisal panel, brings Ms Ritchie (pictured) roughly in line with new Sunderland City Council chief executive Patrick Melia, though some way behind the highest-paid council heads in Durham and Northumberland.

Pat Ritchie

A Newcastle City Council spokesman said: "Following the 2% national pay award for chief executives, the three point salary range for Newcastle's chief executive Pat Ritchie now ranges from £164,832 to £180,285.

"Her pay remains lower than many other council chief executives."

The median salary across the council is £23,111.

Deputy Lib Dem opposition leader Coun Nick Cott, said: "This raises issues of fairness and value for money at a time when council finances continue to be under great strain.

"We are also conscious that a significant part of the chief executive's role relates to partnership working with other public sector organisations, where the council is not directly responsible for delivery and achievement of key objectives."

Other North East council chief executive salaries:

  • Durham - £192,493
  • Northumberland - £189,999
  • Sunderland - £180,285
  • Gateshead - £161,490
  • South Tyneside - £155,770
  • North Tyneside - £147,915